The center of the picturesque central region of Šumadija and the fourth largest city in Serbia, Kragujevac is a bustling university town with a long and proud history to its credit, as well as a good number of interesting sights. At the beginning of the 19th century, Kragujevac managed to visit the capital of the country – and the then ruler, the brilliant Prince Milos, tried a lot to ennoble the appearance of the city. The legacy of those glorious years of Kragujevac were charming buildings of the Balkan-oriental style, the first theater in Serbia and the majestic Old Church, where the first Serbian constitution was once adopted. But Kragujevac is by no means a ossified “dinosaur” – with the onset of darkness, bars open in the city, where it is so pleasant to spend an evening with a glass of raki. Check topschoolsintheusa.com to learn more about Serbia.
How to get to Kragujevac
The nearest airports to Kragujevac are in Belgrade and Nis (150 km in both cases), so it is most convenient to get here from Russia by landing in the Serbian capital.
From Belgrade and other cities of the country, you can arrive in Kragujevac by intercity bus. The trip from Belgrade will take about two hours, transport departs from the central bus station of the capital. Prices are low – a round trip ticket will cost about 12 EUR. Buses arrive at the Kragujevac bus station, from where the city center can be reached on foot in about ten minutes.
Kragujevac also has a train station, but it makes sense to arrive here by train only from the southern regions of the country (for example, from Nis), with which Kragujevac has a direct connection. Traveling by rail from Belgrade will require a transfer, so we recommend that you give preference to buses.
Transport in the city
The center of Kragujevac is very compact and easy to explore on foot. The main attractions are located close to each other, except for the Shumarice Memorial Park in the north of the city – it makes sense to get there by bus or taxi. If you arrived in Kragujevac by car, parking should not be a problem, even in the city center.
In the Old Church of Kragujevac, the first Constitution of Serbia was proclaimed.
In Kragujevac, tourists will be met by a mass of hotels, guest houses, boarding houses and hostels. There are a lot of inexpensive (even by low Serbian standards) options – the student orientation of the city is affecting. Most of the options are in the city center and near the university. In general, it is worth focusing on amounts of 15-22 EUR per night in a good hotel, rooms in private houses can be found at prices starting from 9 EUR.
Cuisine and restaurants
It will not be difficult to have an inexpensive bite or a thorough lunch of national cuisine in Kragujevac – a lot of fast food establishments and “reputable” restaurants are literally waiting for tourists on the streets of the city.
Excellent Serbian fast food is served in the democratic “Lepenitsa” near the bus station and railway station – splash is especially good here. For excellent barbecue and variations on the theme of grilled sausages (“chevapchichi”, if anything), go to Labud, and delicious schnitzels are prepared at Plavi Byk. For the experience of “haute cuisine” it is recommended to look into “Dvorishte”, which is located on the picturesque shore of Lake Buban, or the two oldest restaurants “Stara Serbia” and “Balkan” in the historical center of the city.
King Alexander Street also has the highest concentration of bars and nightclubs in Kragujevac, many establishments are open until the morning, it is quite safe and fun here.
4 things to do in Kragujevac
- Enjoy the splendor of the ancient buildings in the Prince Miloš Circle.
- To philosophize in the memorial complex “Shumarice”.
- Relax on the picturesque shores of Lake Buban.
- After dark, “check out” the bars on King Alexander Street.
Shopping and shops
Souvenirs and other trifling tourist goods are sold in shops at attractions, as well as in the establishment of the Kragujevac tourism office. For more serious things, you should go to the central streets of King Peter, King Alexander or Lola Ribar – here you can buy products with a Serbian flavor (for example, embroidered towels), clothes, shoes and all “universal” goods.
If you are overcome by longing for mega malls (albeit adjusted for the Serbian scale), welcome to the shopping centers of Kragujevac – “Roda Center” or “Kragujevac Plaza”. In the latter, you will be met by more than a hundred shops, cinemas, an entertainment center and other “goodies” of malls.
Entertainment and attractions of Kragujevac
The first thing to do in Kragujevac is to go to the cultural and historical complex “Circle of Prince Milos”, within the boundaries of which are the buildings of the capital period of Kragujevac – built in 1818-1841. It is worth paying attention to the magnificent Balkan-Eastern architectural style, in which elements of Slavic architecture with its straight lines and general nobility of composition are combined with domes and arches, as well as ornate ornaments of the East. The only fully preserved building from the period of Prince Milos is the Amidzha Palace, built in 1818. Once there was a “state housing” for members of the princely escort.
Other notable buildings of the heyday of Kragujevac are the Gymnasium (built in 1887, the gymnasium itself was founded forty years earlier and was the only one in Serbia), Prince Mikhailo’s Palace – a one-story building created according to all the canons of Austrian classicism, and the Theater (1835) – again the first in the country.
The Old Church, built in 1818 also by order of Prince Milos, is dedicated to the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. A decade later, the temple acquired its own bell and has since served as a kind of place for the announcement of state decrees. In particular, the first constitution of Serbia was proclaimed here in 1835.
The most important, but sad monument of the recent history of Serbia is the memorial complex “Shumarice”, dedicated to the events of the Second World War. On October 21, 1941, a punitive action of the Nazis was carried out here, during which seven thousand civilians of the city were shot. The graves of the dead form a seven-kilometer ring.
For a walk in the fresh air, go to the Big (or Upper) Park, with more than 120 years of recreational “history”, with an area of more than 10 hectares. In the center of the park, you can see the monument to the wounded soldier, which is surrounded by hundred-year-old trees. The picturesque nature of the surroundings of Kragujevac can be seen on the shores of Lake Buban – there is a park with a lot of benches and several restaurants.
You should also definitely get out of the city – to the charming village of Borač, nestled among idyllic rural landscapes.